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Worrying of Livestock by Dogs - Minister Browne issues advice to dog owners

- Minister Browne issues advice to dog owners -

The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, Mr John Browne T.D., today drew attention to the damage and distress that can arise from attacks on farm livestock, particularly sheep, by marauding dogs.

"Each year, and particularly around lambing time, dogs that are allowed to run free are a serious menace to sheep. Uncontrolled dogs can decimate a flock. Even the family pet can cause great distress to sheep, including pregnant ewes and lambs and it is essential that dog owners do everything possible to prevent such attacks".

Minister Browne drew attention to the heavy penalties provided under the law for negligent dog owners, pointing out that they may be held to be liable for damages and costs in a civil action. Thus failure to keep dogs under control can have serious financial and emotional consequences for dog owners and their families, in addition to the obvious affects on sheep and lambs and their owners. Apart from the cruelty and distress suffered by livestock, the financial losses to farmers can be very considerable.

The Minister appealed to all dog owners, particularly those living near farms, to ensure that their dogs are kept under control at all times and particularly at night, so that the suffering and death of sheep and lamb flocks can be avoided. The Minister advised dog owners to contact their local authority if they require information on dog control, particularly licensing, or to refer to the leaflet issued by the Environmental Information Service (ENFO).

30 January, 2006

Date Released: 30 January 2006